In the UK and USA we celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June, and in 2018 that’s 17th June. In European Roman Catholic culture ‘fatherhood’ was traditionally celebrated on St Joseph’s day, 19th March, and this date is still used in many countries.
Father’s Day as we know it in UK and USA was invented quite recently. It was established in the USA in the early 20th Century. The first recorded official celebration was in Fairmont, West Virginia, on 5th July 1908. Grace Clayton organised it, at her local Methodist church, in honour of her own father who had died the previous year, and also many local fathers who had recently been killed in a tragic mining accident. In the following decades various churches in USA tried to establish Father’s Day as a national event.
In the 1930’s, men’s-wear retailers in the USA tried hard to promote Father’s Day. This was met with resistance, because people saw it as unwanted commercialism. However, it seems that this is what led to its widespread popularity. In 1972 President Nixon signed Father’s Day into USA law. In the UK Father’s Day seems to have been adopted in the 1950s, when many American trends crossed the Atlantic. It took about 20 years to become widely accepted. For some it will always be a purely commercial event, and a sales opportunity for greeting card manufacturers! For others, it is a welcome opportunity to recognise and celebrate fatherhood.
People generally welcome Father’s Day, as a chance to acknowledge and thank their father for the role they play in their lives. Many families appreciate the chance to gather together for a special meal or day out, and to give presents.
Traditionally, people gave their father socks, ties, jumpers and slippers – perhaps that’s why men’s wear retailers were behind the popularisation of the celebration! Nowadays chocolates and sweets are popular gifts, as well as personalised items like mugs. At Make it Wild we love nature, but we are not keen on plastic (as I may have said before ..!) and we have some unusual gifts which we think every father would love. Check out our gifts for some inspiration … how about dedicating one of our very old trees for your dad? We think that’s much more exciting than socks!
Heart Shaped family tree plaque – £5.20
Toadstool Garden ornament – £3